WASHINGTON, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday offered stronger condemnation against white nationalists who staged a fatal protest over the weekend after previous remarks drew fire for lacking forcefulness.
"Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans," Trump said in a speech at the White House.
"To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend's racist violence, you will be held fully accountable," Trump said, vowing "justice will be delivered."
Trump's statement came after his previous remarks on the violent protests in Charlottesville, Va. were accused of being too light-weighted.
"We condemn in the strongest possible terms of this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides," he told a press conference Saturday after a car rammed into protesters and street brawl broke out during the protest.
The remark was met by strong backlash from across the aisle as many accused Trump of failing to name the agitators of violence and trying to shift the blame by stressing that "many sides" had displayed "hatred, bigotry and violence."
"Very important for the nation to hear @potus describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists," Republican Senator Marco Rubio tweeted.
In a show of stand against Trump, Kenneth Frazier, the black CEO of pharmaceutical giant Merck, announced his resignation from Trump's advisory panel Manufacturing Jobs Initiative Monday morning.
A rally staged by white nationalists in Charlottesville turned violent Saturday. After hours brawls between the pro-rally far-right figures and anti-racism protesters, a sport car ploughed into crowd against the rally, killing a 32-year-old local woman and injuring 19.